Shawn A-inchut AtleoNational Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN)

Shawn A-in-chut Atleo is the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). He is a Hereditary Chief from the Ahousaht First Nation. In July 2012, A-in-chut was elected to a second consecutive three-year mandate as National Chief to the Assembly of First Nations. Previously, A-in-chut served two terms as Regional Chief of the BC AFN. Committed to the principles of working together through inclusion and respect, he forged the historic Leadership Accord among First Nations leadership in BC in 2005. In 2008, A-in-chut’s commitment to education was recognized in his appointment as Chancellor of Vancouver Island University, becoming BC’s first Indigenous Chancellor. He has been honoured to receive several Honourary Doctorate of Laws degrees from universities throughout Canada. He also received the University of Technology (Sydney) Alumni Award for Excellence 2011 in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In February, 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his advocacy work on behalf of First Nations across Canada. A-in-chut began his career as a facilitator, trainer and entrepreneur working with and for First Nations peoples. He holds a Masters of Education from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia (in partnership with University of British Columbia, University of the Western Cape South Africa, and University of Linkoping Sweden).Traditional teachings have guided A-in-chut to serve First Nations as a leader, facilitator, mediator, planner and teacher.

Dr. Christopher Alcantara, Author and Associate Professor, Political Science, Wilfred Laurier University

Dr. Alcantara is an associate professor of political science at Wilfred Laurier University.  His main research interests are in the fields of Indigenous-settler relations and politics, territorial governance in the Canadian north, federalism and multilevel governance, public policy and administration, and more recently, voting behaviour. He has authored to books, Negotiating the Deal: Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements in Canada (UTP: 2013) and Beyond the Indian Act: Restoring Aboriginal Property Rights (MQUP: 2010), the latter of which was coauthored with Tom Flanagan and Andre Le Dressay. His was a finalist for the Donner Prize in 2011 and the McMenemy Prize in 2013 and has won the J.E. Hodgetts Award for best article in the journal, Canadian Public Administration, and the David Watson Memorial Award for "the paper published in the Queen's Law Journal judged to make the most significant contribution to legal scholarship.”




Ian Anderson, President, Kinder Morgan

Ian Anderson is President of Kinder Morgan Canada, a business segment of Kinder Morgan, the largest midstream and the third largest energy company (based on enterprise value) in North America. Ian provides executive leadership to Kinder Morgan's operating, growth and corporate responsibility in Canada. His current role in the oil pipeline sector in Canada is providing the company with the opportunity to participate in what is becoming one of the most competitive and growing segments of the energy economy. He is a Certified Management Accountant and a graduate of the University of Michigan Executive Program. He is a board member of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, a member of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines and was recently appointed as a Board of Governor to the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC).



The Honourable James Bartleman, OC, OO, Chippewas of Mnjikaning First Nation, Former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Author

James Bartleman is a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. Born in Orillia, he was raised in Muskoka and attended the University of Western Ontario, graduating in 1963. After a thirty-five- year career in the Department of Foreign Affairs, he was lieutenant governor of Ontario from 2002 to 2007. He holds thirteen honorary doctorates, is an officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario and a recipient of the Aboriginal Achievement Award. He is the author of six books, including As Long as the Rivers Flow, on the residential school experience of its protagonist, and The Redemption of Oscar Wolf, a novel on mid twentieth century Aboriginal life released in the spring of 2013. He is married to Marie-Jeanne Rosillon and they have three grown children and three grandchildren.



Caleb Z. Behn, Eh-Cho Dene/Dunne-Za, Articling Student with the Law Society of British Columbia, Activist

Caleb Behn is Eh-Cho Dene and Dunne Za/Cree from the Treaty 8 Territory of Northeastern BC. He has recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a Juris Doctor degree and is among the first UVic Law students granted the Concentration in Environmental Law and Sustainability. Prior to law school, he was the Oil and Gas Officer for the West Moberly First Nations and a Lands Manager for the Saulteau First Nations.Caleb is the subject of a documentary film, Fractured Land, focused on the impact of hydraulic fracturing in Canada and Aotearoa, New Zealand. He is recognized as one of the most dynamic young Indigenous leaders and activists making his mark on the Canadian landscape.



Michael Redhead Champagne, Shamattawa Cree Nation, Founder of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities, Winnipeg

Michael Redhead Champagne is from Shamattawa Cree Nation, Manitoba was raised in the North End of Winnipeg.  He graduated from St. John’s High School, attended 1226 Fort Garry Horse Army Cadet Corps and has attended courses with both the University of Winnipeg & Manitoba. Michael has been the recipient of a Future Leaders of Manitoba Award, Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence and a Manitoba Youth Achievement Award; all for community service. In 2008 he created the ARROWS Youth Engagement strategy which empowers inner city youth to facilitate relationship based training to the staff & adults of youth programs.  In 2010 he founded AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) a youth-led anti-gang committed to breaking stereotypes and creating opportunity. 2011 saw the Meet Me @ The Bell Tower anti-violence rallies that occur weekly in the heart of the North End in Winnipeg.


Russell Diabo, Member of Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake, Policy Advisor at Algonquin Nation Secretariat, and Editor of First Nations Strategic Bulletin

Russell Diabo is a member of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake. From 1985 until 1996, Russell was an advisor to the Algonquins of Barriere Lake in Western Quebec. Russell also served as the Indian Act Amendments Coordinator to the Assembly of First Nations prior to coming to British Columbia in 1997. He is currently a policy advisor at the Algonquin Nation Secretariat and editor of First Nations Strategic Bulletin.

Qajaaq Ellsworth, Independent Filmmaker and Multimedia Producer

Qajaaq Ellsworth is an award winning independent filmmaker and interactive media producer from Iqualuit, Nunavut who recently developed a new app and educational game, Iliarnnarnaqsivuq, or Time for School, designed to encourage learning among Inuit. The app helps children get a head start in school by teaching them about colours, numbers, animals, weather and navigating the classroom setting. It also helps children practice these concepts in three languages: English and the Inuit dialects of Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun. Qajaaq also coordinated the Inuusivut Program  a national initiative of the Embrace Life Council and the National Inuit Youth Council. The primary objective of that  project was to learn, document and share – through a variety of multi-media techniques – how Inuit perceive, express, develop, foster and promote mental health. Qajaaq's films can be viewed at nfb.ca


Wes Fine Day, Cree Elder and Storyteller, Sweetgrass First Nation, Saskatchewan

Wes Fine Day is a Cree Elder, traditional healer, ceremonialist, medicine person, historian, songwriter and storyteller from Sweetgrass, Saskatchewan. He works as a Traditional Knowledge Keeper and Educator in various schools and universities. Wes also leads Healing Gatherings, Fasting Camps, and workshops for professional healers and traditional knowledge keepers from many different cultural backgrounds to bring awareness to the general public.


Phil Fontaine, Former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations

Phil Fontaine is the former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). He is the longest-serving National Chief in AFN history and the only one to be elected to three terms. He has been instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of human rights to the lives of all Canadians, and First Nations peoples in particular. He is a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. Mr. Fontaine holds honorary doctorates of laws from Brock University, the University of Windsor, Lakehead University, the University of Winnipeg and the Royal Military College of Canada. He was honoured with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1996 and is a Member of the Order of Manitoba. He received the Equitas Human Rights Education Award in 2010, which recognizes and celebrates exceptional contributions made in the field of human rights education. Phil Fontaine successfully led the resolution and settlement of the 150-year Indian residential school tragedy, which led to a historic apology by the Canadian government. He also advocated for the implementation of the Kelowna Accord and signed the Declaration of Kinship and Cooperation of the Indigenous and First Nations of North America. He was the first indigenous leader to address the Organization of American States. Currently he is a consultant and advisor on Aboriginal matters.


Sheila Fraser, Former Auditor General of Canada

Sheila Fraser served as Auditor General of Canada from 2001 to 2011 and was the first woman to hold this position. Prior to joining the Office of the Auditor General as Deputy Auditor General in 1999, she was a partner at Ernst & Young for 18 years, in the Québec City office. Sheila chaired various committees of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) as well as the Public Sector Accounting Board of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. She currently serves as a public member of the International Federation of Accountants – International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IFAC-IPSASB). Sheila has been named as trustee to the IFRS Foundation, the oversight body of the International Accounting Standards Board. She also sits on the Boards of Directors of Bombardier, Manulife Financial Corporation and The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. She earned her Bachelor of Commerce Degree at McGill University and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees from Canadian universities. Sheila was also awarded the designation "Fellow" by the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec in 1994 and by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 2000. In 2009, she was the recipient of the ICAO Award of Outstanding Merit, the highest honour that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario can bestow upon its members. 


Chief Sharon Stinson Henry, Chippewas of Rama First Nation

Chief Sharon Stinson Henry is a member of Chippewas of Mnjikaning First Nation near Orillia, Ontario. She was first elected in September 2000 and is currently serving her sixth term as Chief. Prior to being elected Chief, Stinson Henry’s work experience included several years in Ottawa as Executive Assistant to a Member of Parliament and senior Cabinet Minister. She also worked in a law office and as a Canadian Human Rights Officer. 


Roberta L. Jamieson C.M., I.P.C., LL.B., LL.D. , (Hon) President & CEO, Indspire; Executive Producer, Indspire Awards

Roberta L. Jamieson is a Mohawk woman from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario, where she still resides. In November of 2004, she was appointed CEO and President of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. In February 2012, the Foundation changed its name to Indspire and incorporated its new tag line, “Indigenous Education, Canada’s future.” Under Roberta’s leadership, Indspire is flourishing and she is leading the development of the Indspire Institute, an online laboratory of learning focused on increasing high school completion rates and K-12 success.

Roberta has enjoyed a distinguished career of “firsts.” She was the first First Nations woman to earn a law degree; the first non-parliamentarian appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and in December 2001, she was the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Roberta was also Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario and for ten years, Ombudsman of Ontario.  She has earned numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (Law and Justice 1998), the Indigenous Bar Association’s highest award, Indigenous Peoples Council Award (IPC) and 22 honorary degrees. She has been named three times to the Women’s Executive Network’s Top 100 list. She is a Member of the Order of Canada.


Sandra Laronde, Founder and Artistic Director of Red Sky Performance

Founder and Artistic Director of Red Sky Performance, Sandra Laronde, is an award-winning director, producer, choreographer, actor and dancer. She is originally from the Teme-Augama-Anishnaabe (People of the Deep Water). Sandra's vision for Red Sky is to create a leading international company that shapes contemporary world Indigenous performance, and to make a significant contribution to the artistic vibrancy of Canada and the world. Currently, she is also the Director of Indigenous Arts at The Banff Centre.


Kathleen Mahoney, Professor of Law University of Calgary, architect of Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Kathleen Mahoney is a professor of law at the University of Calgary. She was the Chief Negotiator for the Assembly of First Nations for the historic Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement and was a major architect of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She led the negotiations for the historic apology from the Canadian Parliament and from Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. Her research interests are Human Rights, International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law, Constitutional Law, Women's Rights, Judicial Development and Aboriginal Law. She has appeared as counsel in leading hate speech and pornography cases in the Supreme Court of Canada and was counsel for Bosnia Herzegovina in their genocide action against Serbia in the International Court of Justice. In 2006, Kathleen was named to be the Canadian Director of a 5-year project on judicial development and grassroots engagement in Vietnam.  In 2009, she was a member of the International Bar Association's mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo to review the justice system and advise on a reformative plan.


David MacDonald, United Church Minister and Special Advisor on Residential Schools

David MacDonald is a United Church Minister and Special Advisor on Residential Schools. He was first elected as a  Progressive Conservative, Member of Parliament, representing the former PEI  riding of Prince in 1965 and  re-elected in the realigned Egmont riding from 1968-79. He was appointed Minister of Communications and Minister Responsible for the status of Women and Secretary of State for Canada in the short-lived Joe Clark Cabinet. He won the  Toronto riding of Rosedale in 1988, replacing former Toronto Mayor and PC incumbent David Crombie. He had a reputation as a Red Tory and subsequently switched his political allegiance to the NDP. He ran as the NDP candidate in his old riding (now called Toronto Centre-Rosedale) in the 1997 election but was defeated  by Bill Graham.On November 25, 1998, Thenited Churchof Canada appointed MacDonald a Special Advisor on residential schools in light of major lawsuits against the UCC from former students.


Arthur Manuel, Member of  Secwepemc Nation, Former Chief of Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, and Chairman of the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET)

Arthur Manuel is a member of the Secwepemc Nation and a four time Chief of the Shuswap nation tribal council(1995-2003). He is currently the chair  of the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET).  He served as spokesperson of the Interior Alliance of B.C. Indigenous nations and he was at the forefront of the indigenous logging initiative. Manuel has participated in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues since its inception in 2002. 



The Right Honourable Paul Martin

The Right Honourable Paul Martin was the twenty-first Prime Minister of Canada, serving from 2003 to 2006 and was the Minister of Finance from 1993 to 2002.  In September 1999, he was named the inaugural chair of the Finance Ministers’ G-20.  Currently, he is co-chair of a two hundred million dollar British-Norwegian poverty alleviation and sustainable development fund for the ten nation Congo Basin Rainforest. He also sits on the advisory council of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa, an initiative sponsored by the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank. He is a member of the International Monetary Fund’s Western Hemisphere Regional Advisory Group.  Domestically, he is responsible for two new initiatives: the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, which aims to increase the number of Aboriginal students attending post-secondary institutions; and, with his son David, the Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship Fund, which helps establish and grow successful Aboriginal businesses. Before entering politics, Mr. Martin had a distinguished career as a business executive at Power Corporation of Canada in Montreal and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The CSL Group Inc.  Mr. Martin studied philosophy, history and law at the University of Toronto.  He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1966.


Sheelah McLean, Founder, Idle No More

Sheelah McLean is one of the four co-founders of  Idle No More. Sheelah  is from Treaty 6 territory, and a 3rd generation immigrant whose Scottish and Scandinavian ancestors settled from Western Europe. Born and raised in Saskatoon, Sheelah is an anti-racist anti-colonial teacher and activist. Her goal is to work on projects that bridge research, policies and praxis in order to address the issues affecting marginalized groups, particularly focusing on the impact of colonialism of Indigenous peoples by white-settler societies.


Andy Mitchell, PC, Former Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Andy Mitchell served as a Member of the Canadian Parliament from 1993 to 2006, representing Parry Sound-Muskoka, as a member of the Liberal Party. He was Secretary of State of Parks and later of Rural Development under the Jean Chretien government. Under the government of Paul Martin, he was Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development  and later, Minister of Agriculture. Currently he is an Adjunct Professor at Trent University and is the Deputy Mayor of the Township of Selwyn.


Glenn Nolan, Vice President of Aboriginal Affairs  &  President of Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada ( PDAC)

Glenn Nolan is Vice President, Aboriginal Affairs, for Noront Resources, a junior mining company that is developing a nickel and copper deposit in Ontario’s Ring of Fire. He has been involved in the mining sector for 38 years. He started his exploration career in western Canada, working for major mining companies on numerous projects before starting his own consulting company.  Glenn has emerged as one Canada’s leading advocates for promoting community engagement and strengthening the relationship between Aboriginal communities and the mineral industry. Today, Glenn volunteers in many mining related programs, including President of the largest global mineral industry association, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC). He is  the association’s first Aboriginal president in its 80-year history. As President, Glenn’s vision is to enhance the PDAC’s ability to provide its members with communication strategies for engaging Aboriginal communities across Canada and around the world. Previously Glenn was the elected Chief of the Missanabie Cree First Nation in northern Ontario where he strove to promote community and business development by focusing on strong fiscal and human resource management. 


Aaron Paquette, First Nations/Métis Artist, Writer & Presenter

Aaron Paquette is one of Canadaʼs premiere First Nations/Métis artists, known for his bright colours, strong lines and for sharing new ways of looking at age-old experiences and beliefs. Based in Alberta, Aaron is also a writer, facilitator and presenter. He has worked with the Royal Conservatory’s adjunct program -Learning Through the Arts- as both a Mentor Artist and as the First Nations Representative and Consultant in Alberta. This experience focused on providing the skills and background knowledge for infusing differentiated learning within the general curriculum in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. He has worked with Alberta Education in reconciliation, specifically between communities and school administration. Aaron exhibits in galleries across Canada, takes on public art commissions, works as a guest curator for The Art Gallery of Alberta, St. Albert’s public Gallery: Profiles, and the McMullen Gallery at the University of Alberta Hospital.  Currently he has a traveling exhibit with the Art Gallery of Alberta called Halfbreed Mythology.


Marilyn Poitras, Assistant Professor, College of Law University of Saskatchewan

Marilyn Poitras, is an assistant professor in the College of Law, at University of Saskatchewan. She obtained her LLM from Harvard and her LLB, from the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to the appointment her professional life was a fusion of law, governance, community and institutional education. Her expertise and passion is around Constitutional/Aboriginal Law with a life study of customary laws. Marilyn’s legal career began as a Native Court Worker and moved into the area of Constitutional law after her articles with the Saskatchewan Department of Justice. She has developed a number of legal education initiatives including the precursor to the Akitsiraq Law School in Nunavut, where she has also been a professor, and the Indigenous People’s Resource Management Program at the University of Saskatchewan. Marilyn has worked in private practice and litigated in every level of court in Canada. She has significant experience in the development of Self Government with the Beaufort Delta Agreement, Treaty Implementation with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Treaty Table Justice Portfolio as well as the revisions to the Saskatchewan Métis Election Process. Marilyn also works on CIDA funded research on Ancestral Domain and land conflict in Central Mindanao.


Chuck Strahl, PC, Former Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Chuck Strahl served as a Member of the Canadian Parliament from 1993 to 2011. He held various positions in the Cabinet such as Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, and Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Strahl was raised in British Columbia’s Interior, attended Trinity Western University, and worked for a private logging and road building company called Cheam Construction, which was owned by his father Bill Strahl, and later by him and his siblings. He is currently a director and chairman of the board of directors of the Manning Centre.



Leon Thompson, Political Studies Graduate

Leon Thompson is a political studies graduate of the University of Saskatchewan where he held a seat on the University Student Council from 2010-2012 and a senate seat in 2011-12. He was the first Aboriginal executive member of the university's Students' Union in its 101-year history. He has worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa and with CISV, a volunteer organization that promotes multiculturalism in a global context. Conceived, born, and educated on the Prairies, Leon strives to blend Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal theory and topics in the broader Canadian context while learning about contemporary Canadian, Aboriginal, and international Indigenous issues. He follows a First Nations worldview, the seventh generation teachings, and resides in Saskatoon with his cat, Barlow. 



Ruth Thompson, Director of the Program of Legal Studies for Native People, University of Saskatchewan

Ruth Thompson is the Director of the Program of Legal Studies for Native People (PLSNP) at the University of Saskatchewan Native Law Centre.  She holds a B.A. (Honours) from the University of Regina, an LL.B. from the University of Saskatchewan, and an LL.M. from Dalhousie University. Ruth has been involved with the Program of Legal Studies for Native People, in both teaching and administrative roles, since 1982. Ruth has taught international law, legal writing and academic support at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law. She coached its Jessup international law moot team to a world championship.  Ruth also currently team teaches a course in international and comparative Indigenous rights involving professors and students from universities in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, and supervises graduate students in Aboriginal and international law.



Heather Watts, Masters student Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City

Heather Watts is a member of the Mohawk Nation from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.  She is Masters student attending Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City where she is working toward her degree in the Literacy Specialist program.  Heather received her Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in the Inclusive Elementary and Special Education program last May.  She works for an after school program located in Brooklyn, New York as the Inclusion Specialist.  Heather will be working full-time in Brooklyn this upcoming school year as a third grade classroom teacher.  She was recently inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honour Society in the Field of Education and is serving as a Fellow for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.  In the future, Heather hopes to work with other educators in reforming Indigenous education and incorporate inclusive pedagogy into classrooms.  She also wishes to open her own elementary school one day where all learners can thrive and be challenged intellectually while maintaining a strong connection to culture and language.


Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Marie Wilson is one of three Commissioners at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. She has over 30 years of professional experience as an award-winning journalist, trainer, and senior executive manager. As a journalist, Ms Wilson worked in print, radio and television as a regional and national reporter, and later as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's senior manager for northern Quebec and the three northern Territories. She was the first television program host of northern Canada’s flagship weekly information program, Focus North.  As a Regional Director for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Ms Wilson was a pioneer. She launched the first Daily Television News service for northern Canada, against a back-drop of four time zones and ten languages: English, French and eight indigenous. She developed the Arctic Winter Games and True North Concert series, to showcase northern performing artists and traditional indigenous sports for audiences across southern Canada. She fought for the recruitment and development of aboriginal staff and their on-air reflection.  She served as an associate board member of what was to become APTN , the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and has worked with various other boards and agencies committed to social justice, journalism and civic engagement, community, spiritual and international development, and the wellbeing of children and youth.

Ms Wilson is the recipient of a CBC North Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Northerner of the Year Award, and various awards and recognitions for journalism, writing excellence, and work-place safety initiatives. In May 2012, she was awarded an honourary Doctor of Laws degree by St. Thomas University of Fredricton, New Brunswick, in recognition of a professional career "marked by public service and social justice."



Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber, Ph.L., S.T.L., D.D., Archbishop of Winnipeg

James Weisgerber is originally from Vibank, Saskatchewan. He attended St. Peter’s College at Muenster, Saskatchewan, and St. Paul’s University in Ottawa where he obtained degrees in philosophy and theology. In 1963, he was ordained a priest at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina and named a Monsignor (Prelate of Honour) in 1991.

Archbishop Weisgerber was Dean of Arts at Notre Dame College in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, where he taught philosophy, religious studies, and French. He served as the director of the pastoral and social justice offices in the Regina Archbishop's Office and as Rector of Holy Rosary Cathedral and Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, both in Regina, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Fort Qu’Appelle, which included the pastoral ministry in the neighboring First Nations’ reserves. In 1990, he was elected General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), a position he held until his ordination as the Bishop of Saskatoon. In 1996, he was appointed the fifth Bishop of Saskatoon, by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, who in 2000, also named him the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. That same year he was installed at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

 Currently, he serves as President of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Manitoba. He was awarded the Notre Dame Medal of Honor in 1994 and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2005. In 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate from St. John's College, at the University of Manitoba and received a Doctorate of Law from the University of Manitoba in 2013. 


Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

Kathleen Wynne is Ontario’s 25th Premier. She was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003 as the MPP for Don Valley West, and she became the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party in January, 2013. Kathleen is dedicated to building a better province for all the people of Ontario, by providing high-quality services in the most efficient manner. She and her government are guided by the values that knit this province together: fairness, diversity, collaboration and creativity.Kathleen also serves as the Minister of Agriculture and Food.                                                                               

Kathleen has served as Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Education. As the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Kathleen finalized a new funding agreement with the federal government to improve access to affordable housing. In her role as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Kathleen worked in partnership with First Nations communities to address issues such as mining development and First Nations land claims, and improving quality of life for aboriginals living off-reserve through affordable housing and recreation programs. As Minister of Education, Kathleen led the government’s efforts to reduce class sizes, implement full-day kindergarten and provide more opportunities for high school students to reach their full potential. During Kathleen’s tenure as the Minister of Transportation, she secured a new transit expansion plan for Toronto .

Kathleen has served as a Public School Trustee in Toronto. She has led citizens’ groups in a number of grassroots community projects, and has played a major role as an organizer and facilitator. Kathleen has three adult children, Chris, Jessie and Maggie, and two granddaughters, Olivia and Claire. She and her partner Jane have lived in North Toronto for more than 25 years.


2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

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Couchiching Connects
April 2017
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YMCA Geneva Park

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